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Server migration or re-install checklist

RimuHosting can help migrate your setup between servers.  e.g. Migrating hosting from a different provider to RimuHosting.  Merging web hosting or email hosting from multiple servers onto one server.  Moving a setup from one server to another.

We can also do clean re-installs of a server and migrate the original setup to the new image.
In order to ensure that your site(s) are migrated correctly to the new server, we need to collect a bit of information so that we can be sure not to miss any important bits.  Please have a look at the following and answer the questions as completely as possible.  If you're unsure of anything, that is fine.  We can often sort that out for you.  The more complete the information is, the easier the migration will likely be.

Reinstall and re-setup

If you are running a VPS with us, we can reinstall it (giving it a clean setup, with a distro of your choice).  Then we can migrate data and re-set things up based on the date in the original disk image.

This is a good option if your sites can tolerate a bit of downtime while the sites and services are being reconfigured.

This option is sometimes required after a server is exploited.

And it is a good option if you wanted to use a different distro.

Sometimes instead of a reinstall you can do a distro-upgrade instead.  This typically requires less re-setup work.

After a reinstall you can access your original file system by mounting it as a backup image.

Migrate setups between servers

You can also migrate a setup from one server to another.  For example, to move your hosting from another provider to RimuHosting.  Or to consolidate two RimuHosting servers to one.  Or to move a setup from one machine to another (e.g. for server upgrades or downgrades).

You can order a new server if you need to set one up.

Here we will migrate over the data, setup and services to a new server with us (or a server you specify).

This is a good option if you need more control over the timing of your upgrade and need to reduce the amount of downtime your sites experience.  It also lets you do testing on the new server prior to switching over to use it.

This option lets you run your setup on both servers in parallel.  Then switch over when you are happy all the work is done.

If you need to retain the original IP address after the migration, you can re-install the original server with a copy of the new server.  That will copy over the new server's migrated content over top of the original server, but retain the original server's IP address.

Migration checklist

Please work through as much of the following items as possible then submit it in a ticket to us?

Reinstall and re-setup (in place)

If you are doing a clean install on an existing VPS and migrating the old setup to the new server:

Which server are you reinstalling?

What time of day can we start the reinstall.

What is the longest duration for the migration/outage you would feel comfortable with?  2 hours?  A day?

What distro do you wish to use on the reinstall?

Should we put up a maintenance page during the reinstall?  What text should we use?  Do you have some static html/image/css files we can use?

Migrate setups between servers

If you are migrating a setup from one server to another:

Which machine do you wish to migrate to?  If you do not have a server yet, order an appropriate server and let us know.

Which server are you migrating from?  Provide as much access information as possible:
* the hostname
* IP address
* root user and password.

If you do not have root user access on the source server, let us know details like:
* Control panel URL, and username and password

During the migration did you want us to disable any services on the source server?  E.g. to prevent updates occurring during the migration.

If we are disabling the server during the migration, should we put up a maintenance page during the reinstall?  What text should we use?  Do you have some static html/image/css files we can use?

If you are not disabling the server during the migration, will we need to do another 're-sync' prior to changing over?  After you have tested the new setup and are happy with it, we can re-sync files and re-export/import databases.  To pick up changes that have occurred during the migration.  This can add a bit of sysadmin time, but helps keep the old and new server closer in sync.

We will make DNS changes if we control the DNS.  Please let us know the affected domain names.  Else will you need to change the DNS for those names?


We need to know what you are actually running on your server so we can be sure not to miss something important.  The more complete the information, the better.  In cases where you are unsure, we can likely ferret it out by looking at the server config, but that might be slightly more error prone so it's good if you can be as complete as possible.

Please list the domains currently hosted on the server being migrated?

For each domain (or aliases), indicate any subdomains that are also hosted, whether email is handled by the server and what DNS servers are currently set for that domain.

Specific information about each domain hosted on your server will be obtained by looking at your virtual host settings.  If there need to be any changes to the current config, please list that below.

Domain DNS Servers Email on Server? Subdomains

Are there any SSL-enabled sites on your server?  If so, which domains are covered?

Are there any special website setup settings that would be useful for us to know?  Server aliases, redirects, requirements to fcgi, suexec, or proxy requests to external applications servers like rails or Tomcat.

Email setup

Is email hosted on these servers, or remotely (like on gmail or our 25mail.st managed email hosting service).

If email is hosted on your server, please list any addresses associated with the above domains that need to be migrated.  In most cases, we can migrate the system users over and maintain the existing passwords.  Do the existing messages need to be moved over to the new server?

Mailbox username | password | email addresses sent to mailbox.

Please describe any mailing lists or auto-responders you have setup.

Database setup

Will any databases need to be migrated?

What are the database names?

Which database server?  (MySQL, Postresql, Oracle, ?)

List any known usernames and passwords for these that are associated with them.

Are there any new user credentials that should be configured as well?

System information

What is the reason for the migration? (e.g. server exploited, upgrading distro, migrating from another webhost, etc)

Are you using a control panel?  Or do you need that on the new server? If so, which one?
Virtualmin GPL
Virtualmin Pro

Are there any regularly scheduled jobs (cron jobs) that need to be migrated?  These may be setup to run regular database backups or perform remote backups of local files, etc.  If you're unaware of the cron jobs, you may be aware that your server is performing some regular task for you.  Just let us know about any of those of which you are aware.

Are there any special application servers or backend implementations to consider (e.g. apache modules, jboss, tomcat, glassfish, ruby on rails, ruby on rails gems, etc)?  What versions?  If necessary, we can inspect your existing server to determine this.

Are there any supporting services such as s3 mounts, ftp setups, etc that need to be recreated?  Please provide any details you have.

System users

Outside of the email users listed above, are there other system users that need to be migrated to the new server?

Should their home directories be copied over as well?

Do you have any special unix user groups?  Common users/groups may be those that you're using for deploying apps or accounts you've created for your developers.

Are there special access considerations to take into account (e.g. chrooted ftp setups, jailed users, etc)?

Additional Information

Let us know any information that may help us do the migration well.

Post migration checks

After the migration what things should we check?  Are there some good web pages to hit to test your setup?  Provide URLs and let us know what they should do.

How should we handle any DNS changes?  If you are moving to a new server we can have you check the server and then change the DNS.


We perform migrations under billable time per https://rimuhosting.com/knowledgebase/rimuhosting/syadmin-services.  For new customers migrating from other hosts we can do an hour's migration for no cost.  For many simple setups this should cover the migration time.

Please let us know after you have provided this information if you need a quote before we proceed.  Typically a migration takes 1-3 hours (depending on the complexity of the setup).